Sierra, a 10 months old Standard Poodle pup, rang in the new year by running off in panic when spooked by another dog. She was hiking the Glen Haffy trails in Caledon ON with her owners at the time. They searched for her late into the night to no avail. Many people joined in the search for her also, and property owners backing onto the trail system kept on high alert. We reached out to Norma & Scott the next day & set out to assist. With a stretch of extreme cold temps coming, her owners were totally focused & determined to find her. They searched for hours on end daily. Two possible sightings initially came in, but were unconfirmed. On day 3, she was seen on Coolihans Side Rd, late at night, and took off up a driveway, and continued on behind this property into a forested area. Next day we set a trap for her (thank you to those lovely home owners), with Wifi cameras, and Norma followed her tracks into the forest. In there, the tracks were all over the place and due to high winds & blowing snow, some were buried & impossible to determine which direction they went from there. Scott got busy hanging posters, and Norma went searching the trail system south of Coolihans with a handful of family/friends who had been debriefed on what to do if they saw her. We assisted also, and scouted the outskirts as well.
On Day 5, Norma set out to cover territory behind the property last seen, snowshoeing through fields towards a vacant small log house. As she carefully & slowly approached, she peaked in and saw her!!
Sierra was laying in a sunny spot, soaking the warmth of its rays coming through a window, trying to keep warm.
There were two exit points, and knowing how skittish Sierra was, Norma got low to ground & sweet talked to her. At first Sierra was untrusting, but Norma waited patiently, didn’t move, and gave her time & space. Sierra slowly approached, took a long sniff of her, and finally recognized her! ♥️
She was finally secured & safe, wrapped in Norma’s coat and tears flowed down in relief.
Scott made his way over, and lifted Sierra around his neck & shoulders to transport her back, so she wouldn’t have to walk in the snow. They made the long trek back onto the road, and headed straight to the vet from there.
Sierra had a very sore back paw, was full of small burrs, had lost a bit of weight, exhausted but otherwise seemed ok.
A follow up vet visit was set to look at her paw again, she was put on pain meds.
Huge thank you to everyone who helped Norma & Scott, area residents, and we are grateful to Maureen Häni of DogGone K9 for her assistance as well.
We are so thrilled for this family!
Welcome back home Sierra!🏡
P.S. Invasive group searches are rarely recommended, especially for skittish dogs, and reserved for specific cases. It is always best to consult with professionals as to best course of action, so those wishing to help don’t inadvertently end up making matters worse. Much of the searching for Sierra in deep terrain was done by her very savvy owners, who were briefed on search & luring technique. They did an outstanding job!